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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Vibration-Propelled Cruiser  
  A spacecraft with a propulsion system relying on waves in spacetime itself.  

...For the last three years, Sarto Sen, one of our most brilliant scientists, has been working on a great problem, the problem of using etheric vibrations as a propulsion force to speed matter through space. A ship floating in water can be propelled across the surface of the water by waves in it; then why should not matter likewise be propelled through space, through the ether, by means of artificially created vibrations in that ether, vibrations which can be produced with as high a frequency as the light-vibrations, and which thus propel the models through space at a speed equal to the speed of light itself.
From Crashing Suns, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Popular Fiction Publishing Co. in 1928
Additional resources -

The generators were cool -

...an open door gave me a glimpse of the hip's narrow living quarters, while to the right extended a long room in which other blue-clad figures were standing ready beside the ship's shining, conelike vibration-generators.

Maybe a little like a Tesla coil.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Crashing Suns
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Crashing Suns
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

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